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The Fifth Annual RealtyLab Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I sat down to think
About the year that had past… God, I need a stiff drink.
To all that are listening please sit back and prepare
For a recap that will leave you on the edge of your chair.

For buyers who bought, all snug in their beds
While double digit increases dance in their heads
And sellers relaxing, on heap loads of money
Take less than asking? Well That’s pretty funny

When out on the street there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my iPad to see what’s the matter.
In Vancouver they established a tax on a buyer
Chinese or elsewhere…a real high flier.

And if that home sat vacant unused
Another new tax left foreigners confused.
The government declared, there’s no time to wait
We need this tax this now, before it’s too late

Back in The six we had worries too
As cbc’s marketplace gave us a surprising view
Of a few tricky agents making eye popping claims
And reco’ s response of shock….we need names!

Please out them right now we’ll double our efforts
We’ll increase our fines, and hire some experts
Because quite frankly we’re in a cash crunch
And tomorrow is our annual holiday brunch

But reco was not trebs biggest concern
Let’s leave it to OREA, let’s give them a turn
Let’s let Hudak drive this bus
Give him a chance to talk and discuss

So that treb could continue the competition fight
Which continues, you know, right into the night
No matter the bureaus claims on the law
Disregarding privacy is their one biggest flaw

We need, said our leaders, to speak up on taxes
They’re hurting our buyers whatever their chances
And we need more housing, supply is too tight
Speed up development lets get this thing right

To complicate matters there was a movement down south
To confirm a new leader, a scoundrel a mouth
Trump was elected to everyone’s surprise
And thousands of Americans took to the skies

His hair was mistaken for an escaped capybara
And his eyes were as red as sauce marinara
“Better leave now” he said with a drawl
“To protect my klan, I’m building a wall”

Now Schumer, now Handler, now Stewart and Miley
On Baldwin, on Babs, on Snoop Dog and Woopie
The celebrities led the exodus forth
To the land they call Hollywood North

And on they fled to this side of the border
The land of a liberal new world order
Today, they said, is the start of our plan
To move far away from that awesome orange tan

Americans had Pokemon to show them our city
All the cool places… the flashy, the gritty
And they called on our realtors to secure a sweet pad
Living in the t-dot wasn’t all that bad

Sure it’s tougher to get a Kardasian update
But relax young Americans we have Will and Kate
You’ll love living here at least that’s the theory
We’ve got a few years before prime minister O’Leary.

My phone was alive with hundreds of callers
Looking for homes with American dollars
This is shaping up to be my best year yet
My staff is excited and I’ll soon be out of debt

I need to find listings those Yankees can’t wait
Right now I have buyers, at least 7 or 8
And this just the start of the great Trump escape
Moving to Toronto requires little red tape

So I sprang to my car, with a win and a whistle,
And headed downtown like the down of a thistle.
I exclaimed as left and drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night”

Mark McLean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office, the Immediate Past President the Toronto Real Estate Board and a director at the Ontario Real estate Association . The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB, OREA or Bosley RE


The Morning Meeting. Doing a SWOT Analysis of Your Real Estate Business

swotIf you have participated in strategic planning, sat on a committee or been a director of a corporation, then no doubt you have heard of the SWOT analysis. It is a simple process of getting ideas together on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a business or idea.

Having just returned from a recent strat planning session I decided to put the agents in my office through a similar task by asking them to do a SWOT analysis of their own business.  It ended up being a great meeting with tremendous contribution and discussion.

It is fair to say that this is a meeting that I would run again in a years time.  The line items in each category change regularly, maybe not month to month but probably year to year. Take for example demand, supply, interest rates or technology. Ours is an ever-changing industry and the best defense s, as they say, a good offense. My experience is that the market has been known to shift very quickly.

Obviously this is an industry wide SWOT analysis on our local market. You might get much different results in other parts of the country.  I also believe that every agent out there should conduct a personal SWOT analysis to identify the issues that might affect their business.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office, the Immediate Past President the Toronto Real Estate Board and a director at the Ontario Real estate Association . The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB, OREA or Bosley RE


The Fourth Annual Night Before Christmas

3rd night b4xmas

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the board
Not a staffer was stirring on screen or keyboard.
MLS was all quiet, scheduled maintenance with care
In hopes that new updates soon would be there.

The agents were nestled all snug in their beds,
While thoughts of new clients danced in their heads.
And me in my jammies taking a well-deserved rest
From meetings, and travel and on-the-air guest.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my tablet to see what’s the matter.
Another new bill from an rookie backbencher
This one was sick… A real gut wrencher.

This guy had lost out on another fab house
It was this or no sex, it came right from his spouse.
If you thought phantom offers were wack
This bill would stop bullies dead in their track.

The idea would be sound if it weren’t so crazy
And the form to fill out would made our heads dizzy.
Now we would prepare the offer so neat
Way BEFORE the house even hit the street.

Another new twist home energy audits
Just in case buyers had more cash in their pockets.
And something for brokers let’s scrap contractor status
He said under his breath with just a hint of malice.

Right away we knew this bill would be trouble
So we called our pal Von* to craft our rebuttal.
We took to the airwaves with a singular voice
With news like this we had no choice.

On radio, on print, on t.v. And on web
The truth would be heard not from Facebook, but TREB.
As quick as I could I called in the squad
And the plan that we made was focused NOT broad.

We created a buzz, and were fully invested
And on the steps of the hill our committees protested.
Realtors make the process go smoothly
Without us transactions would be completely unruly.

The truth must be heard, I repeated out loud
Home ownership matters it makes people proud.
It’s not just an investment, a place to live in
It’s a forced saving plan, a retirement win.

Buy real estate and wait… that was our stand
You should know this fact, we’re not making more land.
Our city is growing you just need to ask Santa
But please don’t call it Mega, I prefer the term Alpha.

TREB members united with a solitary voice
No matter what model, there’s plenty of choice.
And then in a twinkling we heard on the news
We won, we got out without a scratch or a bruise.

I sprang to my car, with a win and a whistle,
And away I flew like the down of a thistle.
I exclaimed as I left and drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Hope you the fourth installment of the RealtyLab Night Before Christmas. This one is a bit special for me. I’m half way through my term as President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. It has been an amazing experience. The support from members and the help from all the TREB staff has been invaluable. We have a team of amazing directors who chair a dozen or more worthwhile committees.
The real estate world is constantly evolving and I am happy to be part of a team that is steering a course through it all. Ultimately, I am the guy that delivers two simple messages to the GTA…buy a home and use a Realtor. You will be happy you did. Real estate is a safe long term investment. It’s tax free savings and an excellent tool to build a nest egg for your retirement.

*Von refers to Von Palmer, Chief Communications and Government Relations Officer.

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